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Victor Alexander John Hope, 2nd Marquess of Linlithgow KG, KT, GCSI, GCIE, OBE, PC (24 September 1887 – 5 January 1952) was a British statesman who served as Governor-General and Viceroy of India from 1936 to 1943.

Early life and family

Hope was born at Hopetoun House, South Queensferrymarker, Linlithgowshiremarker, Scotlandmarker, on 24 September 1887. He was the elder son of John Adrian Louis Hope, 7th Earl of Hopetoun, afterwards 1st Marquess of Linlithgow, and Hersey Everleigh-de-Moleyns, Countess of Hopetoun and later Marchioness of Linlithgow, daughter of the fourth Baron Ventry. His godmother was Queen Victoria.

He was educated at Eton Collegemarker and on 29 February 1908 succeeded his father as 2nd Marquess of Linlithgow.

Early career

Linlithgow served as an officer on the Western Front during the First World War, ending the war with the rank of Colonel. He commanded of a battalion of the Royal Scots. He was mentioned in dispatches and appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

He then served in various minor roles in the Conservative governments of the 1920s and '30s. From 1922 till 1924 he served as the civil lord of the Admiralty, becoming chairman of the Unionist Party Organization in 1924 for two years. He also served as President of the Navy League from 1924 until 1931. He served as chairman of the Medical Research Council and of the governing body of the Imperial College Londonmarker. Linlithgow was also chairman of the committee on the distribution and prices of agricultural produce and president of the Edinburgh and East of Scotland College of Agriculture until 1933. In the late 1920s he was Chairman of the Royal Commission on Agriculture in Indiamarker and in the 1930s of the select committee on Indian constitutional reform.


Having previously declined both the governorship of Madras and the governor-generalship of Australia (his father was the first Governor-General of Australia), he became the Viceroy of India on 18 April 1936, succeeding Lord Willingdon. Linlithgow implemented the plans for local self-government embodied in the Government of India Act of 1935, which led to government led by the Congress Party in five of the 11 provinces, but the recalcitrance of the princes prevented the full establishment of Indian self government.

With the outbreak of the Second World War, Linlithgow's appeal for unity led to the resignation of the Congress ministries. Disputes between the British administration and Congress ultimately led to massive Indian civil disobedience in the Quit India Movement in 1942. Linlithgow suppressed the disturbances and arrested the Congress leaders.

He is partly blamed for the Bengal famine of 1943.


It was during this period that, while attending Christmas morning service at the Cathedral of the Redemption in Delhi with his large family, whose surname was Hope, he had to sit through a sermon delivered by the verbose Bishop of Calcutta (Foss Westcott) and Metropolitan of India attacking his attitude to Congress and Home Rule; the peroration of the sermon led to uncontrollable laughter in church as the bishop gestured at the viceregal pew and said "... and all we have left is an array of blasted hopes."


He retired in 1943, his seven-year tenure as Viceroy having been the longest in the history of the Raj. He was considered by his obituarists to have been one of the most skillful colonial officers to have held the highest office. A sincere Presbyterian, he served as Lord High Commissioner to the Church of Scotlandmarker in 1944 and 1945. He died in 1952.


On 19 April 1911 he married Doreen Maud Milner (1886-1965), the younger daughter of Sir Frederick Milner. They had twin sons and three daughters:


  1. Viceroy at Bay: Lord Linlithgow in India, 1936-43, by John Glendevon
  2. Dictionary of Australian Artists Online
  3. Australian Dictionary of Biography
  4. Viceroy at Bay: Lord Linlithgow in India, 1936-43, by John Glendevon
  5. Richard Stevenson, Bengal Tiger and British Lion: An Account of the Bengal Famine of 1943
  6. The Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club - The Most Hon. The Marquess of Linlithgow, KT, GCIE, OBE
  7. John Glendevon, Viceroy at Bay: Lord Linlithgow in India, 1936-43

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